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FFAW Delegation meet with Minister Dominic LeBlanc

July 27, 2016

July 26, 2016

Representatives of fish harvesters and plant workers met with Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc in St. John’s on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. The meeting focused on urgent issues facing the province’s inshore fishery, including the need to enforce the Owner Operator policy, the transition from shellfish to groundfish, and the current dire situation facing harvesters in 3Ps, on the province’s south coast.

“In his decision on Northern shrimp, the Minister acknowledged the vital contribution the inshore fishery makes to adjacent, rural communities”, said Keith Sullivan, President of Fish, Food & Allied Workers Union (FFAW-Unifor). “Newfoundlanders and Labradorians should be encouraged that the Minister understands the value of the fisheries resources going to harvesters and coastal communities.”

During the meeting with Minister LeBlanc, FFAW-Unifor representatives highlighted the ongoing crisis on the province’s south coast. Harvesters are advocating for increased access to halibut, scallop and sea cucumber in order to make up for the unprecedented decline in other species in the area.

Additionally, representatives raised the issue of expanding the Northern cod stewardship fishery, while ensuring sustainability and building a viable inshore industry to maximize value of the first 115,000 MT of Northern cod.

Furthermore, representatives reiterated the value of shrimp for inshore harvesters who are awaiting a decision on Shrimp Fishing Area 5, off coastal Labrador.

The Minister made it clear during the meeting that the Liberal Party’s commitment to ensuring the first 115,000 MT of Northern cod is allocated to the inshore fleet will be upheld. He also stood on his government’s commitment to increased strict enforcement of the Owner Operator policy.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Minister LeBlanc to ensure the benefits of the resources on the doorstep go back to coastal communities”, continued Sullivan. “We are optimistic, given his track record since taking on the portfolio, that the Minister will take swift action to address the challenges facing harvesters and plant workers in the province.”